As we age, it is reasonable to lose hair density. Without realizing it, every day, we lose between 50 to 100 hair strands, but regardless of age, hair loss arises for different reasons. Excessive hair loss in men can cause baldness, also known as alopecia. There are different types of alopecia that have different causes, and that manifest themselves differently in each person. Like androgenetic alopecia, where the reason is genetic; and alopecia areata, when the origin of hair loss is unknown.
What symptoms do you have?
Hair loss is generally the only symptom of alopecia. The most significant hair loss occurs in the scalp, although it also happens on the beard, eyebrows, arms and legs. In the case of total alopecia, the loss of all hair occurs within six months of the appearance of the first symptoms.
Different types and causes of alopecia or why it occurs
Generally, it happens by the presence of high doses of dihydrotestosterone in the blood, which in women is a small amount which causes it to be a pathology that occurs more in men.
Mostly alopecia is hereditary; however, some other common causes of alopecia in men are:
- Stress situations
Although it is not usually a direct cause of the fall, it can be the trigger of some types of alopecia. "If there is no organic cause, the problem will disappear when the stressful episode is remitted. We prescribe Nutri-cosmetics," says Cristina Serrano Falcon, a specialist in surgical medical dermatology and venereology.
2. Lack of iron
It is one of the most frequent causes of hair fall in both men and women. Therefore, if you are going through the hair loss phase, the dermatologist, depending on the situation, may ask for a blood test to check the iron deficit. And if there is any deficit, a prescribed amount of iron intake can resolve the issue.
3. Thyroid disorder
Both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism can cause alopecia. It can also cause changes in the hair, such as thin hair, which loses vigour and a sudden loss of volume. This metabolic problem is checked with an analytical test; the dermatologist refers the patient to the endocrinologist's office.
4. Powerful hair products
The use of some dyes or shampoos does not directly cause alopecia or alter the evolution in those who already suffer from it, but it can weaken and cause fractures in the stem. You will notice it because the hair appears dishevelled, with split ends, very dry and fragile. This calls for a cosmetic treatment (masks, oils, silicones and more).
5. Not taking enough protein
Not following a balanced diet can produce a deficit of nutrients, vitamins and proteins. Besides, "by not providing the elements that are necessary for good hair growth, it is possible to find structural alterations, that is, in the composition of the hair fibre, and to see the weakest hair, without shine, more prone to fracture or changes in shape, colour or texture," says Cristina Serrano Falcon.
6. Intake of a new medication
Many medications can cause telogen effluvium, a type of hair loss which generally occurs when large numbers of hair follicles enter the resting phase of the hair growth cycle and never comes back to the active period for the next growth phase.
If you have recently started taking a new medicine regularly, within 2-3 months of the intake, he medication may react with the hormones, and there may be a higher than average amount of hair fall, which will be continued while you are on the pill. This can also be seen 8-10 days after starting a chemotherapy treatment (anagen effluvium) when almost 90% of the hair falls out.
If you act on the time, you can stop the process of baldness. It is advisable to avoid stress and drastic diets since they are two of the possible causes that can cause alopecia.
Treatment for alopecia may vary depending on the causes that cause it. In any case, the most frequent treatments are nutritional supplements and systemic and topical drugs. In some cases, patients also opt for hair transplantation.
Medically reviewed by Rishabh Verma, RP